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I think we are already in a Dystonian future and people are distracted and don't notice.

Vast prison population and byzantine court system, Declining life expectancy, Horrific traffic, Surveillance state including 24/7 location tracking, Births below replacement rate, Systemic Unemployment and Age Discrimination, etc

Individually they don't seem bad until one of them bites you. But, the world is a very nasty place for many people.

Oh yeah, this is dystopia baby. For many, at least. Like everything, it's probably on a spectrum and it's probably degenerative over time.

Lots of people will point to how prosperous we are and how things like premature death and disease are at record-low rates throughout all of history.

I think we're in a nice little bubble of time where we're surfing on a false economy, borrowing from our future selves in a very unsustainable way which artificially makes our current situation look just about fine. But eventually we're going to use up this runway. At risk of mixing metaphors haphazardly, this is sort of the calm before the storm.

As climate change starts ramping up this shit is going to get very uncomfortably real, and lots of these nightmare dystopia-technologies we're currently developing will probably start seeing even greater mass usage.

I'm typically not the apocalyptic type, and I recognize that most members of every generation that's ever lived have believed that they were one of the last generations. But our universe has shown us that eventually everything ends, so realistically there will someday be a generation which makes this assumption correctly. I don't think we're necessarily they, but we might be their grandparents or great-grandparents.

There's a non-trivial chance that we've already passed the point of no return on climate change. We've almost casually walked into the maw of the great filter already--it just hasn't chomped down on us yet.

- Vast prison population - Declining life expectancy - Horrific traffic

These 3 at least are a very american-centric view of things. In our good old Europe (excluding UK) things are way better.

Now, some things on your list are universal :/…

This is completely tangential, but adds to the sort of vision of the world on that stage. Specifically your reference to how hard the world can be for some people.

It's a brilliant and beautifully photographed documentary about the people who ride the cross-Saharan train, sometimes as the core of their livelihood, and the people who rely on this older technology just to be able to eat.

It's titled The Mauritania Railway: Backbone of the Sahara


edit: I just can't recommend it enough. Just watching a few moments already has me sucked in

To me, the whole present situation seems much closer to the story line in Elysium. I've worked in factories like the protagonist. It's not as distant as it can seem.

> Births below replacement rate

This is the opposite of a problem. Overpopulation is a huge global issue.

> Vast prison population and byzantine court system > Systemic Unemployment and Age Discrimination

You forgot discrimination based on ethnicity, nationality and, most notably, wealth.

Birth below replacement rate being a problem is usually in the context of the problem of "us dwindling versus them proliferating".

Every large ethnic group is at least slightly below replacement rate in the USA. Some more than others but it's not a good sign suggesting that people are generally struggling.

PS: Male:Female gender imbalance at birth + early deaths is why the replacement rate is over 2.0 lifetime births per woman.

The future is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed’. William Gibson

Not sure "Births below replacement rate" is dystopian, "uncontrolled and unsustainable population growth" definitely is. Sadly, what we have is the latter

> "uncontrolled and unsustainable population growth" definitely is. Sadly, what we have is the latter

No we don't. IIRC, birth rates are dropping everywhere and the world population in on track to plateau mid-century before it declines.

And also "uncontrolled and unsustainable" living standards growth. When you have huge portions of world population wanting to live like in the west, and not only for basic stuff like hygiene and schooling. And meanwhile people are decrying that we're too many, too many people are born. Which basically translates to more women should take more pills. Children of men, the movie, comes to mind.

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